The latest addition to the Locoyard fleet is likely to be used as donor locomotive for the SER 01 project. In the meantime it will be DCC chipped and reviewed, so today we start with fitting the DCC decoder.
Fitting a DCC chip to the model is fairly simple, providing you have a DCC ready version. Rather unhelpfully, Bachmann upgraded this model to be DCC ready without telling anyone around two years ago. The box was not labelled DCC ready and even the instruction manual left out the 8 pin socket and where it is located! You would have thought that they’d want to advertise the upgraded model from a sales point of view. This isn’t the only instance this has happened, I believe the 4575 prairie and Midland Jinty models were also upgraded to DCC ready silently!
The DCC chip installation is fairly simple, though space is tight so you need a small chip. I’ve used a Hornby R8249 – not the best DCC decoder available; but small and fully compatible with the Hornby Select controller. This chip needed to be insulated before installation.
Start by unscrewing both the front and the bottom screws as indicated above. The chassis will come away from the body – take care that the bottom of the boiler is pulled away with the chassis; nudging it apart very gently with a flat-head screwdriver if necessary. This will ensure the wires connecting the DCC plug to the can motor are not pulled apart.
Put the chassis back together and that’s it; you’re done! A review of the model will be published in due course, however I can reveal that from a performance point of view the model is doing very well around the Locoyard circuit.